Wednesday, December 3, 2008

John Ziegler: New Poll Results -- McCain and Obama Voters

The Left went berserk when John Zogby released a poll that showed Barack Obama's voters were uninformed.

Leftists succeeded in intimidating Zogby. More on that here.

John Ziegler wanted to commission a poll asking the same questions of McCain voters, but Zogby backed down. It was a cowardly thing to do, but I understand his fear.

That didn't stop Ziegler.

Read his account of the polling controversy and the NEW poll here.

Essentially, the left-wing blogosphere went all “Joe the Plumber” on me and John Zogby. I took the heat. He, apparently, could not.

Next, I issued a challenge on national TV to liberals to duplicate the Zogby results with McCain voters (and offered to pay for it myself if McCain voters didn’t outperform Obama voters on the “quiz”). Despite loads of belly-aching from the left that Zogby only polled Obama voters no legitimate takers took me up on my offer. So I decided to go ahead and do it myself. Zogby, seemingly intimidated by the firestorm of negative reaction, declined to take my money to do virtually the identical poll that his company was thrilled to do just a week before.

After discovering that other polling outlets were similarly frightened by the prospect of having the Obama-backers harass them, I was able to find a reputable one that was not. If ever there was proof of the adage “Be careful what you wish for…” the results of the ensuing survey are it. The Obama-backers are going to have to reignite their spin/assault machine of rationalization in a huge way.

The conclusions that can be drawn from this new poll are multiple and really rather staggering. In general, McCain voters were significantly more well-informed than their counterparts, and there is overwhelming evidence that the gaps in knowledge are directly related to the media sources they were exposed to.

Wilson Research Strategies (WRS) conducted the poll.

Wilson Research Poll Highlights:

The 12 "Zogby" questions were duplicated, one on the Keating scandal was added for extra balance. The results from Obama voters were virtually IDENTICAL in both polls.

Here are the highlights:
35 % of McCain voters got 10 or more of 13 questions correct.

18% of Obama voters got 10 or more of 13 questions correct.

McCain voters knew which party controls congress by a 63-27 margin.

Obama voters got the “congressional control” question wrong by 43-41.

Those that got "congressional control" correct voted 56-43 for McCain.

Those that got "congressional control" wrong voted 65-35 for Obama.

The poll also asked voters to name all the media sources from which they got information.

Those “exposed” to Fox News got "congressional control" correct 64-25 (+39)

Those “exposed” to CNN got “congressional control” correct 48-38 (+10)

Those “exposed” to Network news got “congressional control” correct 48-39 (+9)

Those “exposed” to print media got “congressional control” correct 52-37 (+15)

Those “exposed” to MSNBC got “congressional control” correct 55-35 (+20)

Those “exposed” to talk radio got “congressional control” correct 61-29 (+32)

Voters in the "South" had the best response rate on “congressional control” (+22)

Voters in the "Northeast" had the worst response rate on “congressional control” (+9)

Those “exposed” to Fox News voted 70-29 for McCain.

Those “exposed” to CNN voted 63-37 for Obama.

Those “exposed” to MSNBC voted 73-26 for Obama.

Those “exposed” to network newscasts voted 62-37 for Obama.

Those “exposed” to national newspapers voted 64-36 for Obama.

Those “exposed” to talk radio voted 61-38 for McCain.

Those that could associate Bill Ayers' name/story with Obama voted 52-48 for McCain (We added Ayers name to the "Zogby" question and it significantly increased the rate of correct response, indicating a very superficial grasp of the overall story).

Those that knew Obama had made negative comments about “coal power plants" voted 76-24 for McCain.

Those that knew Obama had his opponents knocked off the ballot in his first campaign voted 66-34 for McCain.

McCain voters did poorly (only 42% correct) on the Keating question and,in general, the voters did universally worse on questions where the negative information was about their candidate

Women under 55 did worse than they might have by guessing on four of the thirteen questions, and yet 95% of them knew that Palin was the candidate with a pregnant teenage daughter. Even 95% of those in this demographic group who didn't know “congressional control” got this question correct.

Those “exposed” to MSNBC “scored” 90% correct on the three Palin questions (including an incredible 98% on the “pregnant teenage daughter” question), while those not “exposed” to MSNBC averaged 84% correct on those three questions.

Master Questionnarie with percentages
Crosstabulations of data
Executive Summary Presentation
Detailed Methodology


john said...

John Ziegler Here!

Thanks Mary for spreading the truth!!

Mary said...

I go by a "trust, but verify" policy and I can't verify that you're the John Ziegler I cite in my post.

Nonetheless, I do think the poll by Wilson Research has some interesting findings and they're worth noting.

Boudica said...

I still find his methodology highly suspect. Why is 10 out of 13 the "passing point?" How many got 13 out of 13 on each side? How many got 9 out of 13? Was 10 the number that had the greatest discrepancy? What was the educational/income breakdown of respondents? The questions were also flawed because the ones dealing with McCain and Palin were from current issues during the campaign. (Except the one they added-Keating, and McCain voters did poorly on that one.)Question about Biden and plagiarism was a 20 year old scandal. The other stories about Obama were covered in great detail on Fox News and talk radio (the McCain voters who did best were FNC watchers). Just because other outlets deemed those stories not worth incessant coverage doesn't mean they weren't covered. Just not day in and day out. Many questions were skewed. The Coal Industry story was a misquote. The "started his campaign in a terrorist's living room" is also not correct.
Thank you for pointing out that voters remembered more negative stuff about the opposition better. That is a conclusion I could see being drawn. The other conclusions are weak.

le_sacre said...

this poll is completely ridiculous. you're completely right, Boudica, that the only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that people pay more attention to negative messages about their preferred campaign's opponent--especially republicans. is anyone surprised by this? yes, attack ads work, and they work better on republicans than they do on democrats. congrats for your profound discovery.

also, "who controls congress" may be interpreted by interviewees in non-standard ways (i.e., not meaning who has the majority), and again, by the attribution error, people are more likely to believe their non-preferred party is in charge when the state of the country is grim. and there were literally no other questions about either general civics or current events other than attack ad talking points.

what a colossal waste of time and resources! partisan hackery at its worst.

hey, remember in the '04 election, when majorities of Bush voters believed that there were weapons of mass destruction in iraq and that Saddam helped plan the 9/11 attacks? (both of which, obviously, were publicly known to be false well before the '04 election.) that was an interesting, noteworthy poll showing how misinformation affects election outcomes--not this "who can see russia from their house" nonsense.